NOUNS-British School of Language(BSL) English on Phone

British School of Language(BSL) English on Phone

A noun is a part of speech that identifies a person, place, thing, or idea. In this lesson, in addition to learning how to identify nouns also through English on Phone, you’ll learn the difference between proper and common nouns and a bit about how nouns function in sentences which can help in the spoken english. We also provide English Speaking Course at BSL.

What Are Nouns?

You probably remember learning about nouns at some point, but you may be hard-pressed to explain what they are. Nouns are incredibly important in spoken and written language, but the good news is that they’re also pretty easy to understand. Figuring out the basics of how nouns operate in sentences will help you learn lots of other more complex rules down the road.

Definition of Nouns

A noun is a part of speech, and parts of speech simply refer to types of words. You may be familiar with a lot of basic parts of speech, like nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Nouns identify people, places, things, and ideas. Nouns can be categorized as either common or proper. Common nouns name general people, places, things, and ideas, while proper nouns name specific people, places, things, and ideas. For example, examples of nouns naming people would be:

Common NounProper Noun
presidentBarack Obama
teacherMrs. Sanders
brotherJoe

In our first column, we have general, or common, nouns. In our second column, we have specific, or proper, nouns. Note that typically, the first letter in a common noun isn’t capitalized unless that common noun is the first word in a sentence. The first letter in a proper noun is typically capitalized.

Nouns also identify places. Common nouns naming places include ‘hometown,’ ‘country,’ and ‘airport.’ Corresponding specific, proper nouns would include ‘Cincinnati,’ ‘Argentina,’ and ‘Hartsfield International Airport.’

 

Types of noun

There are several different types of noun, as follows:

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Common noun

A common noun is a noun that refers to people or things in general, e.g. boy, country, bridge, city, birth, day, happiness

Proper noun

A proper noun is a name that identifies a particular person, place, or thing, e.g. Steven, Africa, London, Monday. In written English, proper nouns begin with capital letters.

 

Concrete noun

A concrete noun is a noun which refers to people and to things that exist physically and can be seen, touched, smelled, heard, or tasted. Examples include dog, building, coffee, tree, rain, beach, tune.

 

Abstract noun

An abstract noun is a noun which refers to ideas, qualities, and conditions – things that cannot be seen or touched and things which have no physical reality, e.g. truth, danger, happiness, time, friendship, humour.

 

Collective nouns

Collective nouns refer to groups of people or things, e.g. audience, family, government, team, jury. In American English, most collective nouns are treated as singular, with a singular verb:

 

The whole family was at the table.

 

In British English, the preceding sentence would be correct, but it would also be correct to treat the collective noun as a plural, with a plural verb:

 

The whole family were at the table.

 

For more information about this, see matching verbs to collective nouns.

 

A noun may belong to more than one category. For example, happiness is both a common noun and an abstract noun, while Mount Everest is both a concrete noun and a proper noun.

 

Count and mass nouns

Nouns can be either countable or uncountable. Countable nouns (or count nouns) are those that refer to something that can be counted. Uncountable nouns (or mass nouns) do not typically refer to things that can be counted and so they do not regularly have a plural form.

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